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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? The Look of Silence

Where Are the Women? The Look of Silence

Women here are exclusively adjuncts to men who either have done or are doing something noteworthy, but they do also have small journeys of their own.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: +12

+10
Is there a female character with significant screen time who grows, changes, and/or learns something over the course of the story? (for an ensemble cast, or a film with a male protagonist) [why this matters]
+2
Is she nonwhite? [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of women in authority]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -10

-5
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional and/or sexual relationship with a man or men? [why this matters]


-5
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children*? (*in this case, an adult child) [why this matters]


WILDCARD SCORE: 0

Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)

No.

TOTAL SCORE: +2

IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: Women here are exclusively adjuncts to men — wives, mothers, and daughters — who either have done or are doing something noteworthy (whether positive or negative, brave or cowardly). But they do also have small journeys of their own to make as they learn truths they were not previously aware of.


Click here for the ongoing ranking of 2015’s films for female representation.

Click here for the ranking of 2015’s Oscar-nominated films for female representation.

NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Look of Silence! It is simply an examination of how well or how poorly it represents women. (A movie that represents women well can still be a terrible film; a movie that represents women poorly can still be a great film.) Read my review of The Look of Silence.

See the full rating criteria. (Criteria that do not apply to this film have been deleted in this rating for maximum readability.)


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